If winter’s chill has you dreaming of a sunny beach beyond our shores, now is the time to make sure your passport is in order – and Union County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi can make your passport application experience easier and less expensive.
During the month of February, Ms. Rajoppi will waive the normal $10 fee for having your photo taken when you apply for a passport, passcard or a Union County photo identification card at the County Clerk’s offices in Elizabeth and Westfield.
“I urge everyone who needs a new passport, or a renewal, to take advantage of this limited-time offer,” Clerk Rajoppi said. “The free passport photo is our way of trying to reduce your travel expenses a bit and encourage you to get your passport ready for spring and summer vacations.”
With significant changes in U.S. passport laws now in effect, a passport is required for all air, sea, or land border crossings to or from the United States. The processing time for a passport or passcard is currently three weeks, so customers should plan accordingly and allow a sufficient amount of time to receive their passport before traveling.
Passport application forms may be obtained at the County Clerk’s main office in the Union County Courthouse at 2 Broad Street in Elizabeth or at the County Clerk’s office annex at 300 North Avenue East in Westfield. Applications for passports and related information also can be found online at http://www.ucnj.org/ctyclerk/passport.html.
“Our Elizabeth office opens at 7:30 a.m. and it has experienced, helpful, English, Spanish and Portuguese-speaking staff ready to assist you in any way we can,” Rajoppi said. “Our Westfield office has convenient evening hours and is fully staffed also.”
The Westfield Annex is the only County Clerk’s office in the state that is open during evening hours. The Westfield Annex is open from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays and Fridays. The phone number at the Westfield Annex is 908-654-9859.
The Elizabeth office is open from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The phone number in Elizabeth is 908-527-4966.
Clients are asked to arrive at least 15 minutes prior to closing time to allow for staff assistance with the passport process.
For domestic travel within the United States, teenagers who are older than 13 years of age and adults who don’t have a driver’s license can obtain a Union County photo identification card at the Union County Clerk’s office. Applicants for a photo identification card must bring their original birth certificate and proof of residency with them to the Clerk’s Office.
For more information about obtaining a U.S. passport, passcard or Union County photo identification card please call (908) 527-4966.